More parents turn to homeschooling amid school safety concerns

HOUSTON – When tragedies such as school shootings happen, many parents begin to evaluate their own children’s safety at school, and some parents are now considering homeschooling.

“Every time there’s a school shooting, we’ll get an uptick in phone calls because, for the parents, it just becomes real to them again that it can happen at their school,” said Jube Dankworth, President of the Texas Home Educators.

Texas Home Educators is an organization that services families statewide and teaches parents where to begin with homeschooling.

Dankworth said safety is among the top reasons more families are transitioning away from public school education.

“After Uvalde, it was a definite spike, but it’s constant as far as the moms transitioning into homeschooling. It’s been a constant flow since COVID,” Dankworth said.

He also added that there are other contributing factors, such as religion and concerns about school environments.

“Bullying is one of the things... and what’s being taught, but also what’s not being taught. They just know their children are not thriving, which is the main thing,” she said.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, homeschooling in Texas nearly tripled from 4.5% to 12.3% from Spring to Fall of 2020. In 2020, homeschooling also grew the fastest among minority families.

Music, art, and math are some of the subjects Rebecca Kharadia teaches her home-schooled children. The mother of seven first began homeschooling in 2000 to avoid public school.

“My kids going to school and being exposed to all sorts of stuff that our family didn’t have anything to do with,” Kharadia said. “And for some people, that’s normal, but I didn’t want our kids to have to go through stuff.”

Kharadia said homeschooling allows her children more freedom when it comes to their style of learning because they’re not all taught one way.

“The way that they like to learn and the way that they move cause some to be super active. Some like to sit down, some like to draw,” she explained.

Dankworth said there’s more to homeschooling than a parent sitting at a kitchen table for hours. Homeschooling is also taking place inside learning trailers at Extraordinary Education in Tomball.

“It’s still homeschooling. We are here to support homeschooling families,” said Terri Peoples, who works with the learning center.

The facility currently has up to 160 homeschooled students taking classes. Less than 10 students are in each class.

“If they need help with Chemistry, or Algebra II, or Algebra I, or they just want their younger kids to take a cooking class, or archery class, or Taekwondo, or art, we have all of those things,” Peoples added.

If you would like to learn more about Texas Home Educators or where to begin the homeschooling process, click here. You can also find a list of homeschooling groups and resources here.


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